You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2009.

In a recent informal conversation, some classmates of mine got talking about age: age for marriage, age for having children. As always, I tend to feel more and more strained on this topic, seeing that my classmates are almost a decade younger than me.

As an example of this age-gap, by the time I was doing graduate work, my classmates weren’t even finished grade nine. Now, this admission might seem forced, but it also reveals something that I’ve been dealing with, namely, my pride.

For some silly reason, I start to feel sorry for myself. I feel as though I’m so old to be in school again; I feel as though I ought to have these “ducks” lined up and “those matters” taken care of by now, but I don’t. Yet, I remember being a young whipper-snapper, aged 24, thinking, gee, this PhD student is over 30 (and I thought that was old!). Here I am approaching mid-thirties, thinking, gee, so that’s what it’s like on the other end of things!

If you’re visiting this blog because of the search term, then I want you to know this one important message: all of the vectors in our lives are varied and different. I am a firm believer in doing the unusual thing and not the ordinary. As a result, however, sometimes my mind wonders what it would have been like had I taken a more ordinary life. And that’s where I start to feel red all over out of pride.

This idea that we can create our own lives is the root problem for me; God plans our steps. So when I think about what I could have done, that’s simply foolhardy. I couldn’t have done that because God had other things planned for me. In fact, He had greater things planned for me, namely, salvation.

The plain fact is, I ended up finishing graduate school and going to China on a whim, in a matter of weeks, and with no real idea of what was going on. I was hurled into a classroom to teach English, and off I went. Some time in between I was introduced to the Bible, I read, I wrestled with God, and I got saved. Yes, salvation was in His plan for me and I had no idea what was going on.

So all those vectors I talked about earlier, the projections of life’s expectations, the plans that we make as young optimists, all are wishful thinking. God’s vector is what counts.

Age has no bearing on God’s vector. That’s my revelation! We like to think that there are certain vectors that are commonly taken (courtship, marriage, career, promotions, children, etc…), but those are entirely misleading. I have to admit that I envy those people who set out knowing what it is they want to do in life, and they stick it out. I envy those who have a clear picture of where they want to be and how they’re going to do it. But I shouldn’t envy them if they don’t have God, should I?

For without God, where would I be now? Would I celebrate the joy of marriage, of parenthood, of school (again)? Would I worship in tears, or read words of wisdom and encouragement?


In the blink of an eye, our lives can change. Between typing these thoughts on my computer to my shutting down the computer, things can change dramatically. If it’s not in my own life, it’s in someone else’s life.

I recently had a visitor this blog post a comment. She wrote that she had come to this Website by typing in the words, “God, what am I supposed to do?”. For a large percentage of visitors, this is how they end up on my site. Yet, this is not my point. In my interpretation of her comments, I think she could see how broken her life was, and that there was no way without God, that she could put those pieces together to feel whole. This woman had more than 95% of the world’s population. She had a family, two healthy children, a home, all bills paid for, two cars, idyllic environment (Hawaii). However, her comment cried out to God out of loneliness and despair. Why is that so, and what can we learn from that?

It’s probably a message you’ve heard before. Our material possessions, no matter how grand or luxurious, can never truly satisfy us. This is true in part because God created us not to worship our things, but to worship and honor the Creator. Put differently, we are asked to worship the Giver, not the gifts.

So I imagined this woman sitting in her beautiful home in Hawaii, surrounded by so many material blessings, but so desperate to connect with the One who could make it all whole. I imagined also that this woman’s decision to type out the prayer and cries were made within the blink of an eye. In one millisecond, she moved from lonely, desperate, questioning, to connected, homeward-bound, thirsty.

I am positive that her life was changed within that brief time it took for her to write the comments. We never cry out like that (“God, I can’t do it any more; you take control!”) without experiencing the grace that God offers to those who call upon His name.

God never asks for perfection; He asks us to approach Him. God never says, clean up your act before seeing me; He beckons us to seek Him when we’re weary. God anchors us through storms around us, and calms the storms inside of us. How has your life changed?

Where are you from?

Clustr Map

Flag Counter

free counters

Blog Stats

  • 112,775 hits

What I’m reading now

"Wanderlust: A Social History of Travel," by Laura Byrne Paquet (Fredericton:Goose Lane Editions, 2007) "The Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping malls, and the Search for Home," by Pico Iyer (Toronto: Random House of Canada, 2000). "Outliers: The Story of Success," by Malcolm Gladwell (New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2008).

Flickr Photos

List Universe